Hall of Fame center Bill Russell will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the upcoming inaugural NBA Awards, the league announced Thursday.
Russell—an 11-time NBA champion, 11-time All-NBA player and 12-time All-Star—is regarded as one of the best players ever. He spent his entire 13-year professional career with the Celtics and became the first player to ever win an NBA championship, a college basketball title and an Olympic Gold Medal.
His last three years were spent with the Celtics as a player-coach, and he helped guide the team to back-to-back titles in 1967 and ’68. Russell became the first African American head coach to win a professional sports championship.
President Obama awarded Russell, now 83, the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011 to honor his accomplishments as a basketball player and civil rights figure.
The first-ever NBA Awards will be held on Pier 36 in New York City on Monday, June 26. Russell will be the first recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award.
The event will air on TNT at 9 p.m. ET.